Canine Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy – Top Tips

Tip 1: What is the benefit of prehab and rehab?

Prehab: Sometimes prehab is considered a luxury but it can certainly make rehab easier. The better the range of motion, flexibility and strength prior to surgery, the easier and faster the rehab will be. Therefore working on these 3 areas, well within the comfort level of the patient, is a great advantage.

Rehab: Rehab can be broken down into 3 phases; acute, subacute and chronic.

ACUTE PHASE: Addresses pain and inflammation with modalities and manual techniques. We find that Laser and joint compressions are particularly helpful in accelerating the acute phase of rehab.

SUB-ACUTE PHASE: Promotes healing, range of motion, weight bearing and proprioception. This will include manual techniques to move the joint with proper arthrokinematics and stretching with emphasis on the belly of the muscle.

CHRONIC PHASE: Emphasizes on strengthening and advanced proprioception. In this phase we increase the demands of the muscle and add balance challenges.

Tip 2: Treatment goals and techniques are important in canine rehabilitation!

There are many treatment goals for manual therapy which include:

Increase circulation

Decrease swelling

Increase tissue extensibility

Reduce adhesions

Increase scar mobility

Eliminate trigger point

Promote tendon and ligament healing

Increase ROM

Decrease pain

Decrease muscle spasm

Facilitate or inhibit neuromuscular activity

The technique for a particular condition depends on the goals of the treatment. We must also consider the size and shape of the muscle, tendon, ligament, or fascia; and the pathological state of the tissue.

Tip 3: You don’t need fancy expensive equipment to implement therapy into your practice!

There are many therapeutic exercises that address proprioception, balance, muscle strengthening, endurance and gait retraining using common items. The important thing is to implement exercises that are safe for the patient as well as the handler.

Some of these tools can be physio balls, cavaletti poles, planks, blocks, land treadmill, balance discs, tunnels, air mattresses, weights, rocker boards and wobble boards.

Want to learn more?…..

JOIN US at the Canine Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy

Develop skills in clinical assessment, goal-setting, treatment planning and outcome measurement in canine rehabilitation from a physical therapy perspective. This case-based course highlights orthopedic conditions and injuries involving the extremities and the spine. Practical applications of joint mobilization, modalities and therapeutic exercise are covered. Participants get hands-on experience with dogs on site.

The business of canine rehabilitation is discussed as well as pertinent legal and ethical issues. This course will also cover canine neurological rehabilitation. Students get hands-on experience with dogs on site as they review how to perform a neurologic exam and apply neurophysiological facilitation techniques. Developing goal-focused treatment plans and assessing outcomes in canine neuro-rehabilitation patients are also covered.

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